Anti-Bloat Campaign

So 99 times out of a hundred, all I’m doing on any computer is browsing the web. Which got me to thinking. What if I could just run a web browser, and nothing else, on a computer? Would that be ‘good’? Maybe having more resources available to dedicate to the browser might make it faster, too. So I imagined a little Linux distro, which runs no XWindows server, and, hell, make /sbin/init just be a symlink to firefox, and run against the framebuffer. No XWindows server taking up any space. You could probably get rid of a ton of libs too. I would literally have nothing on this thing. Maybe a shell, but only for the purposes of scripting updates. I would even make it so that the logged-in User doesn’t even have access to the filesystem. That’s not what it’s for. It’s just cache for the web.

So I thought I’d mess around with my little idea. First I need to make a copy of Firefox that talks to the frame buffer. Jeez, easier said than done. BTW. Firefox is a bloated pig.

This is what I had to do thus far:

#1) manually edit configure to comment-out all MOZ_ENABLE_XREMOTE (apparently the mozila-xremote app uses nothing but X routines to pass data between applications. And we’re likely going to be the only application running.

#2) ./configure –without-x –enable-application=browser –disable-tests

I won’t even get into all of the various missing libraries that I had to install – GTK, Glib, some other boring ones. I barely noticed – I just let good ole’ RedHat up2date manage the dependencies for me.

The ‘make’ is still running, what seems like 2 hours later. So I may have to edit that list of things to do.

to be continued…

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